Wednesday, May 22, 2013

ATI Conference Pictures 2013

I had such a fun time at the ATI Conference in Big Sandy, Texas this past April.  I made so many new friends.  There was such a sense of community there...everybody was amazingly nice.  They even had a mechanic on duty (for NOOO cost) to work on widows/single mom's cars, because sometimes women don't know how to fix an engine (or at least I don't(;  ).  They also had a lunch for widows/widowers.  It was so nice.  It was seriously a glimpse of Heaven.  

I was apart of the COMMIT group.  In the morning, I would go with my team, and we would listen to different women speak.  There were all sorts of topics, from how to deal with guys, to the relationship with your parents, and also letting satan come and speak lies to you, and how we deal with that.  I learned SO much.  My favorite speakers throughout the whole conference were the Duggar Girls, David Gibbs, Tom Harmon, Jim Bob & Michelle Duggar, & the Benham Brothers.  

Here are a few pictures from the trip (:

Emma & her friend Betsy 

Me and my COMMIT leader, Brianna

Me and Jinger.  She is an amazing musician, guys!

Okay, so on the last night, we met a precious family, the Rook's.  They invited us to come back to their campsite.  We visited for a little while, and then the Duggar family was right down the path from them, and they were having a cook-out for everyone to attend!  So, we all went over there, ate, and that's where I met Michelle, Jim Bob, and Jinger.  The sweetest people you will ever meet...seriously.  After that, we went back over to the Rook's campsite.  It had gotten dark by then, so we were all around the camp fire while the little girls (the Rook's daughter, Jade, Emma, Johannah Duggar, and a few other girls) were playing.  Jade comes running up to us, saying that Emma had tripped over a bike and skinned her knee.  Of course, we have absolutely NOTHING to clean it up with.  Mrs. Toni Rook says "Oh, let's just run over to the Duggar's bus real fast.  They have a whole bucket full of stuff!"  *okay.  I am a very very very very very big 19 Kids and Counting fan.  Just meeting three of the Duggar's was enough for me!!  NOW WE ARE ABOUT TO GO GET ON THEIR FAMOUS BUS?!?!?! ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?!?* So, we start walking over there, and Jim Bob was talking to a young guy, and sees Emma.  He immediately asks her to come on the bus to get a band aid.  I had forgotten that on the show a few times, they mentioned that Jim Bob can't stand blood.  Blood was literally covering Emma's knee, and he was like "Uuhhh..ummm... Let me go get Jana and Jill!"  lol So Jana and Jill come onto the bus, and they literally were the sweetest about Emma's knee.  Jill must have spent 30 minutes just cleaning it up.  Then, Jill sat and talked with us for about 45 minutes!  You guys, my dream was coming true!  This was totally a God-thing for Emma to fall and scrape her knee, and us end up on the Duggar's bus!  

Emma & Jill on the bus

Me & Jill 

After that, we thank Jill & Jana for taking care of Emma, and step outside the bus.  Michelle was standing there, and I couldn't leave without a picture with her!  I mean, when will I ever have this opportunity again, people??

Michelle talked with us for the longest time.  I've come to the conclusion that the Duggar's are really what they are on TV- an amazing God-fearing family.  

So, I get the K-LOVE encouraging Word (a daily verse sent to my email.).  Guess what it was that day? I didn't read it that morning, but one we got back to our hotel that night (around 12:30AM!!), I had the chance to read it:

"I promise this very day that I will repay two blessings for each of your troubles."
Zechariah 9:12

You guys, even though Emma had scraped her knee, God repaid our troubles with TWO blessings- meeting Jill & Jana on the bus, and talking to Michelle!  If Emma hadn't scraped her knee, that would've never happened!  I'm so thankful <3

All in all, I cannot WAIT for the next conference in 2014!

Love Always,

Saturday, May 18, 2013

One Year Ago...

One year ago today, I recieved an email from a girl named Melissa.  Here is what she said:

Hi Grace,

First of all, my name is Melissa & i'm 16 years old.  i stumbled on your blog a few days ago & i'm so thankful I did!  i truly think God led me here.  i just wanted to let you know that you are not alone.. we are in the same boat!  i felt God calling me to wear skirts all the time a couple of months ago..i thought and prayed about it a lot & it's been about a month since the last time i wore shorts/pants.  i live in a family with 3 other sisters who don't share the same modesty beliefs i do.  it can be hard at times but i just have to remind myself that i dress for God and my future husband :) i'm so happy that you made this decision on your own!  i don't know anyone else who has the same convictions i i'm so glad i found your blog!  i'm here if you need encouragement or just want to chat :)

Your sister in Christ,

So, back then, I got emails like this all the time.  But, what was different about this one was that Melissa didn't have anyone who shared her convictions...just like me.  I emailed her back a few days later, and from then on, we have communicated almost every day.  

Melissa is such a special friend in my life.  I have no idea what I would do without her.  We literally have so much in common, it's not even funny.  I remember when I had gotten one of her emails last year when we had just started emailing eachother, I went to my Mom, and I said "Mama!  Melissa is so much like me!!  She understands what I'm going through!'s amazing."

Since today of last year, Melissa and I have exchanged cell phone numbers, literally text everyday, skyped a few times, and...*you guys have no idea what a God-thing this is* I might be meeting my best friend next month.  Melissa is graduating from highschool, and I might be able to go a few days after her graduation and hang out for a while.  I am soo looking forward to that day!  

Melissa, you have been an amazing sister this past year.  You've dealt with my ups and downs and I love you so much.  You are a one-in-a-million friend, and I have no idea what I'd do without you.  I hold you in my heart (Phil 1:7)

 ( our one & only picture together the first time we skyped. BUT, that will change next month)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Our Mother's Day

This year for Mother's Day, we had violin recital.  I have to say...I was freaking myself out waayy too much beforehand.  But, once I actually got up and started playing, it felt so good.  I love music/violin, and playing up there felt so amazing.  (:

Here are some pictures of the recital and us girls.

Emma & I after the recital
Us with our sweet 79 year old teacher, Mrs. Lizanne
Love her so much.  She's our 'adopted' grandma!
Emma & her friends Stella and Emma.
Us girls.. L-R, Mary,Me,Emma, and Mom
Me & my amazing Mama
Do you see any resemblance??  
Mom & Emma
Mama & the baby(;
Mary and Mama
Mary & Mama (: 

We had such a wonderful day, and I hope y'all did too!  I'm so thankful for all the mommas out there (:

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Maxi Dress Outfit

Hey guys!

Soo, it's been forever since I last posted.. SO sorry.  I keep telling y'all this, but we have been so busy.  This past weekend we drove to Birmingham, AL, to visit my great aunt and uncle, then went over to Anniston, AL, to see an old army friend of my Mom's.  This week, I've been sick with sinus stuff, and tomorrow is not only Mother's Day, but violin recital....which I've been practicing like crazy for.  My fingers are just about to fall off(:  so, anyways, I wore this outfit quite a while back.  I hope you like it!

Dress- a gift from my sister, Mary, from Rue 21
Shoes- my Mom's.  I think she got them while we were in Europe.
Cardigan- American Eagle

without the cardigan 


Again, my hair was curled that morning, but it fell out as the day went on (:

I've been asked several times what program I use for editing my pics.  I only use Picasa, which is absolutely free.  I'm pretty cheap (;